Champ III: Going Places

The adventure starts here.

Dog River Marina, Mobile, AL to Fairhope Yacht Club, Fairhope, AL — November 9, 2013

The day started with a pretty cool morning but warmed nicely with the sun out.  Wind was light from the Northeast so we would be headed partially into it as we went east to
Fairhope on the other side of Mobile Bay.

The most stressful part of the trip was undocking at the Dog River Marina.  We had been tied up at the lay along dock on the inside, bow in. There was no place to turn around and we needed to back out.  There were boats on both sides and a set of what they called hurricane piles down the middle.  We had a guy on his 56’ Sea Ray sit on the boat to fend us off if need be.  We were backing into an outgoing tide so I think that helped us maintain some control but we probably backed up 800’ before we had a chance to turn around.  Overall it went smoothly.

During the trip on the bay we saw the Active Captain Boat, Accapella, as they were getting ready to enter the channel to Dog River.  They are in a 56’ Defever Trawler.  We had seen them previously at Green Turtle Bay.  These are the couple who maintain the Active Captain site. It is a great site for a cruising boat.  All the information regarding marinas and anchorages is provided by the users. I do not think I go a day without looking something up on the site.

It was not a long trip today but we found out that Mobile Bay is probably 8 or 9 miles across and following the channels we went 12 miles. I saw some crab pots just out of the channel near Dog Rive but no other ones which is good.

As we were getting tied up at the Fairhope Yacht Club (FYC) another boater advised me to make sure there was power available on the dock before I got everything setup.  He was also a transient.  They only have room for about 4 transients.  FYC is a private
club and will only extend dockage to those with reciprocal privileges.  We have those thru the Great Lakes Cruising Club.

The FYC was heavily damaged during Katrina in 2005 and was rebuilt and re-dedicated in 2008.  One of the oak trees that died as a result of Katrina was carved by a sculpture and I took a picture of it.  They have a restaurant and a bar and it was busy last night with an awful lot of people rooting for Alabama in the Alabama-LSU football game.

FYC also had a wedding on the lawn yesterday late afternoon and then the reception was in the club. They had a live band and the groom (at least we think he was the groom) was dressed fairly casually as were a lot of the guests.  The band did not play the kind of music you would normally associate with a wedding. They played several Johnnie Cash songs and many other country songs. I guess we need to take into account we are not in the Midwest now.

The other boater that we talked to the dock is a Gold Looper.  They did the Loop 7 years ago and have been traveling on the boat ever since that time.  They have done most of the side trips and taken most of the rivers as far as they are navigable.  I had a few questions for him and he was happy to answer them. One of the questions was about navigating Mobile Bay outside the marked channel to get to the ICW. He gave me a photo copy of a chart with the course marked on it the he has used in the past. They are leaving tomorrow.